David Leigh

Bass

Biography

American bass David Leigh, a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, has been described by Opera News as “a bass of unusual agility, depth and darkness,” and is already internationally known for his visceral and intelligent singing.

In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Leigh will sing the roles of Snow Queen/Reindeer/Clock in the French premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen with Opéra national du Rhin. Elsewhere in France, he will perform Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with Opéra national de Lorraine, a role he will later reprise with the Canadian Opera Company. Additionally, he will return to Santa Fe Opera as König Marke in Tristan und Isolde, while in concert, he will sing Mozart’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Notable future engagements include his house and role debut with Opernhaus Zürich as Hagen in Götterdämmerung during the 2023-2024 season.

Among cancellations due to Covid-19, Mr. Leigh was to sing Filippo in Don Carlo with Dallas Opera, Gurnemanz in Parsifal with the Canadian Opera Company, Colline in La bohème with the Bolshoi Theater, Sarastro with Israeli Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Varlaam in Boris Godunov with Washington National Opera and Timur in Turandot with Austin Opera. In concert, he was to sing the Theater Manager in Lulu with The Cleveland Orchestra and Timur with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Leigh made a house and role debut with Seattle Opera as Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin and debuted with Michigan Opera Theatre as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni. The 2018-2019 season included a number of prestigious debuts, including his San Francisco Opera debut as Zuniga in Carmen while covering the role of Vodnik in Rusalka, his Santa Fe Opera debut as King Hjarne in Poul Ruder’s The Thirteenth Child, and his Canadian Opera Company debut in the leading role of Turbo in the world-premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian. He also returned to the Bolshoi Theatre as Colline in La bohème, made his role debut as Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Kentucky Opera, and joined Dallas Opera in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.

Recent career highlights include a company and role debut with the Bolshoi Theatre as Colline, as well as company debuts with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra National de Lorraine, and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni. At the Metropolitan Opera, he performed the Surintendant des Plaisirs in Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon under the baton of Bertrand de Billy, and was presented in a joint recital at the Park Avenue Armory with mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo. Other engagements included the Commendatore with Florentine Opera and the Festival d’Opéra Baroque de Beaune, Fafner in Wagner’s Siegfried with Cincinnati’s Queen City Opera, and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Mr. Leigh comes from a family of artists: his father was a Tony Award-winning composer, his mother is a painter, and his sister is a multiple award-winning playwright. He studied music composition at Yale University and holds master’s degrees in Voice and Opera respectively from Mannes College and the Yale School of Music, from which he received the Harriet Gibbs Fox Prize. He has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the McCammon Competition at Fort Worth Opera, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a 2017 top prize from the Wagner Society of New York.

Reviews

“Remember the name David Leigh. The young bass sang the Commendatore with a big, arresting, constantly focused sound, delivering both vocals and the theatrical elements of his role with a calm, magnetic command.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“A formidable presence as the Commendatore…”

Opera News

“David Leigh’s Commendatore, with his stunningly overwhelming bass notes…”

Milwaukee Shepherd Express

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